TV actress Ann Morgan Guilbert dead at 87

Story highlights

  • The actress appeared on "The Nanny" and "The Dick Van Dyke Show"
  • She loved performing in the theater, her daughter says

(CNN)Actress Ann Morgan Guilbert died Tuesday at the age of 87, according to her daughter Nora Eckstein.

Guilbert appeared on the 1990s sitcom "The Nanny" as Fran Drescher's grandmother Yetta Rosenberg and also played the next-door neighbor on the 1960s comedy "The Dick Van Dyke Show."
    She had finished filming a couple of episodes of the CBS show "Life in Pieces" and worked until her cancer diagnosis a few weeks ago, said her daughter. Guilbert was never in any pain and died Tuesday morning after a very brief illness, Eckstein said.
    The late actress enjoyed performing on the HBO show "Getting On" and "The Nanny." Her acting career spanned more than five decades.
    While Guilbert was best known for her television roles, especially "The Dick Van Dyke Show," her true love was the stage, said her daughter. Among her favorites was performing in the play "The Immigrant" at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles and "Night Mother" at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., for which she won an award.
    Born in Minneapolis, Guilbert grew up in the Bay Area in California. She attended Stanford University, intending to study nursing, and instead ended up in theater, according to a profile of her in her alma mater's alumni magazine.
    Of playing the role of Millie, the neighbor on "Dick Van Dyke," Guilbert told the magazine, "The most fun of doing it was sitting around the table with the writers; they were hysterical. ... "It was no-holds-barred."
    Drescher posted a tribute to her on-screen grandmother, tweeting "I love you."
    Guilbert is survived by daughters Hallie Todd and Nora Eckstein and two granddaughters.